Martin Lewis opens up about heartbreaking grief: ‘I’m still not over it’

The TV personality discussed his mother's untimely death up on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs

Martin Lewis
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Martin Lewis is best known as a friendly face on daytime TV, always ready with hints and tips on how to save your pennies more effectively, or get a good insurance deal.

But on a recent radio show, listeners saw another side to the money expert, who discussed how hard it was to lose his mother as a child. Martin’s mother was killed in a road accident when he was just 11 years old.

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Talking to Lauren Laverne who hosts Radio 4’s long-standing music show, Desert Island Discs, Martin opened up. You can listen to the episode on BBC Sounds here.

My mum was there one day and she wasn’t the next”, he told host Lauren Laverne. “That was it and none of us knew how to deal with it. We were all stunted by it at the time.

MORE:Martin Lewis: how to protect your finances during coronavirus

“This was 1984: you didn’t have counselling. Certainly you didn’t have counselling in rural Cheshire! So you had to get on with it.

“That was the end of my childhood on that day. I struggled very hard as we all did for a long time. I’m still not over it, I’m just better at dealing with it.”

Understandably, Martin's mother's death affected him greatly as he grew up. He went on to explain how the loss impacted his childhood.

If you're struggling with loss, you can visit for help and support

“I never went out until I was 18. I never left the house because I wasn’t at home when that happened to my mum. I couldn’t cope with leaving the house because I thought something else could happen. All my friends from school were going to parties, they were 15/16, meeting girls – which I’d have liked to have done, but I couldn’t cope with it. So I made up this lie that I had a social life…

“When I was about 17 I went to a boys school, but a girl on the coach invited me to her party, which was revelatory for me. I really, really wanted to go. My dad was delighted, he and my step mum were going to drive me because they were really happy to see me going out the house.

“But I honestly had no clue at 17 what you wore for a party. Did you wear a suit? Did you wear jeans and a T-shirt? What did you wear? I got myself into such a panicked anxiety about it that in the end I said I was feeling sick and didn’t go. I never went out to a party or the pub or anything until I left school at 18. So my life wasn’t very happy, not my teenage years at all.”

MORE:Martin Lewis warns of coronavirus scam targeting elderly people

Martin has been a big help when it comes to navigating the tricky new era of Covid-19 in terms of our personal finances.

Martin previously warned us about the risks of booking a holiday any time soon, as it is currently unknown whether travel will still be on the cards for any of us this year.

Lauren Hughes
Lauren Hughes

Lauren is deputy editor at woman& in the UK and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has worked on the woman&home brand for four years. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine. After starting out working for a local paper in Yorkshire, her journalism career took her to Bristol where she hunted out stories for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant.

Lauren loves helping people share their stories, bringing experiences to life online, honing her interview techniques with everyone from authors to celebrities, headteachers to local heroes. As well as having a good nose for a story, Lauren has a passion for the English language and years of experience optimizing digital content to reach the widest audience possible. During her time at w&h, Lauren has worked on big brand campaigns like the Amazing Women Awards and assisted in developing w&h expert-approved Buyer's Guides—the place to go if you're looking to splash out on an important purchase and want some trusted advice. In addition to her journalism career, Lauren also has a background in copywriting for prestigious brands such as Inhabit Hotel, eco-development K'in in Tulum, social enterprise The Goldfinger Factory and leading London architect Holland Harvey, using language in all its glorious forms, from detailed guidebooks to snappy social content. 

A big fan of adventure, Lauren is also a keen travel writer and loves sharing tips on where to find the best places to eat, drink, and be merry off the beaten track. Lauren has written a series of travel guides for London hotels and loves sharing her insights into a destination's cultural and culinary offerings. If you need a recommendation on any UK destination, she's more than happy to help. At the weekend, you'll usually find her hanging out with her pet cat (or anyone else's pet she can get her hands on), escaping to the countryside, or devouring a good book. 

Follow her adventures @laurenkatehughes

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